Exploring the Karuma Falls in Uganda

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The famous Karma Falls are located on the eastern direction of the Murchison Fall National Park which is the prominent largest national park which is drawing the attention of different travellers to visit Uganda. The wonderful landscape of Murchison falls park which is surrounding the stunning Karuma falls offers the best habitat in which different wildlife such as antelopes ,buffaloes, species of birds as well as the lions, plus even the baboons, monkeys, as well as elephants plus the Uganda Kobs not forgetting the species of Giraffes and Hartebeest. The park is also famous for chimps tracking and habituation experience in Kanio Pabidi forest reserve.

Karuma Falls Bridge
Karuma Falls Bridge

The varied attractive wildlife, birds, around the falls offer different chances for visitors to enjoy the sights of different bird species, also enjoy wild game viewing, Nature walks around the banks of the falls and at the end of the day visitor’s experience goes beyond exploring the falls.

The stunning Karuma falls were named depending on the on the powerful spirit that used to disorganize stones and separate the Victoria waters which were rapidly running with roaming sound. Karuma fall is one the icon attractions attracting various tourists mainly due to its location in the waters of the largest lake in Uganda.

karuma falls view from the bridge
karuma falls view from the bridge

Karuma provides travellers to explore the footsteps that were stepped by the first European explorer John Speke who is identified to have toured the magnificent falls during the time he was exploring the pearl of Africa in search for the source of the great world’s longest River Nile.

The Karuma falls are one of the traditional falls in the country Uganda and therefore visitor to Uganda ought to explore the falls. The Karuma falls are home to the important Power Station located at Karuma which is said to be 750 Megawatts hydropower development project that was implemented by partnership between foreign partners alongside the government of Republic of Uganda.karuma-project

The Karuma falls have an interesting history which is deserve to be explored and the history roots back during the time of political instability that was caused by the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, the area around the falls was used as hiding place by the rebels and they could base in that falls to attack the people, buses, trucks that were moving in both directions.

The falls offer fantastic view and may travelers to northern Uganda make a stop over for photographs of these fantastic falls.

About the Author: Jack is a Ugandan travel writer based in Kampala, also works as a safari consultant of 4×4 Uganda, the leading car rental company in East Africa. This company offers serviced like hotel bookings, gorilla permits bookings, 4×4 self drive car rental in Uganda and Rwanda as well as free travel advise to tourists. The company is legally registered, as associate member of conservation organisations such as Nature Uganda, Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO), Uganda Tourism Board, Friend a Gorilla, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) among others.

African Primates – L’Hoest and Colobus Monkeys

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L’ Hoest Monkey

They are commonly found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo is a very dark.
L’hoest Monkeys are richly colored animal with a pure white chin ruff framing on the face and white patches under their eyes. L’ hoest Monkeys are also called Mountain Monkey.

Males L’hoest monkeys are larger than the females and have bright mauve testes. The leave and move in troops of about 17 individuals dominated by females under the leadership of two adult males.african-primates

L’hoest Monkeys feed on leaves, seeds, flowers, fruits and insects; occasionally will eat bird eggs, lizards and even small birds.

The number of L’hoest monkeys is declining due to poaching, deforestation especially in Democratic Republic of Congo where they are hunted for meat. Therefore, it is true to argue that the L’hoest monkey is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

In Uganda, L’hoest Monkeys are found in Kibale, Kalinzu and Kalinzu which are medium altitude forest. In Rwanda, L’hoest monkeys are found in Nyungwe forest and Kahuzi Biega National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Black and White Colobus Monkeys

Colobus are large monkeys with a head and body length longer at 78cm. Fur is black with white or greyish whiskers and epaulettes and a white tail. There is no thumb or greatly reduced. Newborn infants are pure white, obtaining their adult markings by 3 – 4 months. Colobus monkeys live in African forests and move in troops of 3 – 15 members, while the red colobus live in larger groups with many males. They rarely come to the ground, but they do it occasionally to pick up fallen fruit.

Black and White Colobus Monkeys in Rwanda
Black and White Colobus Monkeys in Rwanda

Black – and – white colobus monkeys feed on both young and mature leaves, but they also eat fruit, flowers and woody twigs. In Uganda, they are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, Semiliki National park, Kibale forest National park and in Rwanda, they are found in Nyungwe Forest National park with a semi-habituated troop of 400 species.

Gorilla Forest Camp in Bwindi National Park

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Gorilla Forest Camp; The Top Notch Lodge In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 530 km from Kampala which takes between 8 to 10 hours’ drive to complete the journey. This puts the tourists taking a Uganda safari to see gorillas at a point where they will have to spend an overnight near the park to go gorilla trekking next day morning and then plan the return journey the day that follows. Even if they opt to fly, the gorilla trekking encounter starts at 8am and no flight that arrives in Bwindi before that time. This means that you ares till required to spend a night around the park.

Sanctuary-gorilla-Forest-Camp
Gorilla Forest Camp

Spending an overnight in Bwindi is something the tourists to Uganda for gorilla tracking in Bwindi forest always take key note of. This comes with the lodge selection which is also influenced by the level of travel budget. The Gorilla Sanctuary, also known as Gorilla Forest Camp is located in the Buhoma Area which is the daring region for gorilla trekking activity and it is re-known as the pioneer region of this activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, thus most travellers planning to do a gorilla safari to Uganda tend to opt for it though the competition for gorilla permits tend to leave out the majority.

Located at close distance from the Buhoma Park entrance inside the Impenetrable Forest, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers top notch overnight accommodation to upmarket world travelers. Its Accommodation is offered in a range of eight luxury tents which are very spacious and stylish with each tent having two queen sized beds, in supplement to the warm beds, the rooms feature huge bathtub looking into the impenetrable forest ideal for soaking the tired muscles after a daylong gorilla tracking experience.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp has impressive forest views and an ample open place and a lounge in a very calm environment only interrupted by the songs of birds and mountain gorillas that occasional visit to the lodge.

gorilla-forest-camp

Planning a flying Gorilla Safari and stay at Gorilla Sanctuary

You need 3 days and 2 nights to complete a 3 days Uganda gorilla safari with a single gorilla trek. If you need more than one trek, then you need more than 3 days, for example, some tourists want to do 2 gorilla treks, we call it double gorilla tracking, where you visit two different gorilla groups. Below is a typical 3 day flying gorilla safari to see gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and and stay for 2 nights at Gorilla Forest Camp.

Organizing a Gorilla Tracking Tour – Initial States

If you want to see the gorillas in the wild (In their natural habitat), it means you must fly to Africa, the only place one can see the mountain gorillas in the wild. According to the gorilla census 2011, there are only 880 mountain gorillas left in the whole world, and this population is found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. However, gorilla tourism in DR Congo is less developed due to political instabilities.

aerolink
Aero Link Uganda Plane

As you plan a holiday to see gorillas in the wild in Bwindi forest, start with identifying your intended travel dates. After that, then check for availability of International Flights from your home country to Entebbe International Airport. If the flights available fit your intended travel dates, please go ahead and make tentative booking.

The next step is to check for availability of gorilla trekking permits through local Travel Agents / Tour Operators or you can inquire and book direct through Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kampala. If you happen to find gorilla permits available on your preferred dates, please go a head and confirm your flights. In case you happen to find no permits, better you find alternative dates. The demand for gorilla permits is very high throughout the year. One is thus advised to book early at least 2 months in advance. Further more, you should get availability of rooms at Gorilla Forest camp in Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable forest.

If you find no space, there are other gorilla trekking lodges around Buhoma such as Mahogany Springs Lodge, Buhome Lodge, Gorilla Resort and Bwindi Forest Lodge among others. Then you must book a regional flight in advance from Entebbe Airport to Kihihi Airstrip, and there must be arrangements for transfer by road from Kihihi Airstrip to Gorilla Forest lodge. We have both daily scheduled and private charter flights operating along this route. Scheduled daily flights are offered by Aerolink Uganda Limited, while Private Charters are offered by Kampala Aero Club and Eagle Air. Tour Operators can help you will all arrangements like booking permits, accommodation and flights.gorilla_safari

At this moment, we assume that all bookings are confirmed and it,s time to fly to Entebbe International Airport. If you booked through a local tour company, you will find a representative from that company waiting for you at the airport. Usually they carry a placard bearing your name. To get this, you should inform the Agent about your arrival date, time and flight number. Local based safari companies usually offer free airport transfers to guests, or at a subsidized cost.

If you made private arrangements without involving a tour company, then you need to organize for airport transfer to your pre-booked hotel around Entebbe International Airport. Depending on the flight you booked, get ready to fly from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kihihi Airstrip in Western part of Uganda. It is less than 60 minutes flight. At Kihihi Airstrip, you will find a safari vehicle awaiting for you, and then drive for 90 minutes to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, arrive in time for lunch at Gorilla Sanctuary, relax in our cottages as we wait for evening entertainment from the Batwa people (Local community). Gorilla Forest camp is some times visited by mountain gorillas.

GFC dinning
GFC Dining

The next day is for gorilla tracking adventure, get up early for heavy breakfast walk to the park headquarters for a briefing about the trek. You will be divided into groups of 8 persons maximum and assigned to a gorilla group. Start a guided walk in accompaniment of armed rangers, trackers and park guides. Depending on the movement of the gorillas in the forest, the trek can take between 1 and 7 hours. Its quiet strenuous and a certain level of fitness is advised. Sight and stay with gorillas is one hour, take photos and videos with gorillas. You will be receiving advise and guidance from the guide in the whole process. After the trek, descend to the base, have lunch and take a forest walk if interested. Dinner and overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp.

This is the 3rd day and your last day in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Have breakfast and hit the road back to Kihihi Airstrip, then get a plane to Entebbe International Airport for your onward flight or for lunch and dinner at your hotel around Entebbe or Kampala.

Spend a full day with Chimpanzees in African Jungle

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Tourists can spend the entire day with the 1,500 chimpanzees and 12 different species of primates there. The Chex (Chimpanzee Habituation Experience) package includes seeing chimpanzees that are in the process of being acquainted with the vicinity of people.
As per sources from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the habituation process takes about two years. As tourism switches attractions, one can now be part of that process for one important day in the forest. Chances of seeing chimpanzees in the later past, stood at 20%, yet it has shot to 90% because of the habituation process.

Destined there?
An early breakfast and packed lunch might as well set you off for the chimpanzee tracking that start before day break softens up the forest. A park guide takes you on the strolls and can even shows to you where a chimpanzee built a night the prior night. The park guides identify the chimpanzee family to be gone by for the rest of the day.
If you have a Polaroid, you will be encouraged to keep the flash off when shooting. The treat is a charming experience. Prepare however for the rough and tough as you need to stalk them fast enough to keep them in sight. Chimps live in family of 10 to 100 members. They babysit one another’s young, kiss, groom each other and even hold hands. The young chimps come to be independent at the age of four.

Nonetheless, they could be aggressive and unsociable, if exasperates. Despite the fact that they spend some time on the ground, they feed sustain and do make their sleeping nests up in the trees. Their diet contains leaves, seeds, fruits and flowers. Each one of them has a physical identity. They too have scars obtained from their battles fought in life.

The forest usually transforms into a show of loud gasp hoots in the morning and the mood dims when they are nesting at night. Their dramatic days end with them climbing into their homes for the night. The Chex packages likewise permits tourists to go with researchers and habituation team to interact with the chimpanzees throughout their every day activities. Tourists may come across the chimps de-settling (in their nocturnal nests) between 5:30am and 6:30am until they make new nests for the night, around 7:00pm.

The perfect time to go for CHEX
The habituation experience is best in the months of March, April, May and November, when there is less sightseer congestion. In a small group (a ranger plus a maximum of four people), you get much closer to the chimps than throughout chimp tracking in bigger groups. The experience costs $220 (sh572,000) for foreign non-residents, $150 (sh390,000) for foreign residents and $70 (sh182,000) for East Africans.

Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda

In Uganda, there is a new tourism activity known as as Gorilla habituation. Currently, there are 3 gorilla families available for habituation experience in the southern sector known as Rushaga, and a maximum of 4 persons allowed on each gorilla group per day. In this case, you can book a 7 day gorilla safari package and do chimpanzee tracking and habituation experience in Kibale Forest, mountain gorilla tracking and habituation experience in southern Bwindi National park, its really a life time experience deep into the true African wilderness.

Rwanda Tourism Stakeholders Convey Thanks for Lion Pride

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lionToday, will all the required arrangements placed in Akagera National Pak in the eastern part of Rwanda along the Tanzanian boarder. Next month eight lions from Kenya are going to be introduced to this country to restore the world of lion ‘King of the Jungle’ in the country.

Previously the lion populations inside and in areas surrounding the park where eliminated by cattle keepers attempting to protect their animals together with villagers scared of raids, poaching, frequently using poison and imposing a harsh death on these big cats.

African Parks has improved the electric fence on Akagera National Park through adding on it height and also adding a base element to guarantee that the lions won’t be able to jump over the fence or try to crawl below it.

The return of these lions next month will offer visitors with the extra amazing attraction of being able to see at least 4 of the big 5 in the country with only the Rhino missing from the listing.

Local partners in the Rwanda tourism industry in the Kigali passed on their thanks that the Kenyan Government which has authorized the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to deliver the pride lions into Rwanda. They crediting this to the solid and friendly relationship between these two nations, that alongside Uganda a year prior shaped the “Coalition of the Willing” joined by common objectives to improve infrastructure, support trade, as well as collaborate closely on several other sectors such as security cooperation.

Most Endangered Animals in Africa

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Africa has a variety of amazing wildlife and some of which can not be found anywhere else in the world. Tragically human ravenousness is driving some species of animals in this large species to the edge of extinction. We can even now see some endangered and critically endangered species when you travel to Africa.

Several African Governments where these endangered and critically endangered species of animals live are finding a way to save them and their habitat.

Take a look at most endangered animals in Africa as of 2015, as indicated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Riverine Rabbit
riverine-rabbitRiverine Rabbits are the most endangered species in Africa and are found in parts of South Africa and it is believed that there are only 250 animals remaining in the world today. Hating, accidental deaths and habitat loss are the main threats.

Northern White Rhino (critically endangered since 1996)
Numerous wildlife specialists believe that this subspecies of white rhinoceros will get to be wiped out before the end of the next decade. Just five northern white rhinos are alive today. The northern white rhino formerly found over parts of northwestern Uganda, northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Lake Chad, southern South Sudan and eastern part of Central African Republic.

Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorillas are smallest population of subspecies of the eastern gorilla—is part in two and different people have debated about whether they might be two separate subspecies. More than half live in the Virunga Mountains, a range of extinct volcanoes that fringe the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The rest is found in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Currently there are around 880 mountain gorillas in the wild. Hunting, habitat loss and human diseases have pushed these animals towards the edge of extinction and it so extreme that it was once thought the species may be terminated before the end of the twentieth century.

Black Rhinos
The black rhinoceros is a species of rhinoceros, found in the eastern and southern countries Africa including Kenya, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Although the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from brown to grey.

There are over 4,900 black rhinos in the world today. In Africa, Poaching and habitat loss are threatening their very existence.

Ethiopian Wolf
This elegant, long-legged wolf is only found in the mountains of Ethiopia, today you won’t find more than 500 of these animals. Rabies, loss of their habitat, shooting, road killings and climate warming are pushing these animals to the edge of extinction.

If these creatures get to be terminated, it will be an irretrievable loss to the whole world and a disgrace on humankind. If you find any suspicious activity, which you think might hurt these magnificent creatures it will be wise to report to the authorities.

Rwanda Showcases Tourism Perks in Holland

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Rwanda participated in the annual Vakantiebeurs in Utrecht-Netherlands last week.

According to the chief officer of Rwanda Development Board Belise Kariza, Vakantiebeurs 2016 offered a good platform to inform both the Dutch clients and the travel sector that Rwanda has more unique attractions to offer visitors beyond the famed mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park.

The occasion goes about as a meeting point for international tourism marketing agencies, promoters and guests searching for interesting destinations to go to.

Aside from Embassy staff others at the Rwanda stand included Amahoro Tours, Mountain Gorilla Safaris, Great Seasons Hotel, African Jungle Adventures Ltd, Lets Go Travel Rwanda, and Wildlife Tours Rwanda.

Kariza said leisure has been a main factor for the development of tourism industry in Rwanda
“This year we have set a more emphasis on adventure tourism with offered safari packages including nature trails, water activities, people to people, recreational – fun moments and sports, for example, trekking, climbing and biking,” she said.

Rwanda likewise showcased a daily presentation and dance in one of the halls to all tourists.

The nation is advertised its Meetings Incentives Conference and Exhibitions/Events (MICE) capacity, alongside other tourism perspectives, capitalizing on safety, developed infrastructure, accessibility and new competitors in the hotel industry.

These incorporate such names as Marriott, Radisson Blu, Radisson by Park Inn, Sheraton, Golden Tulip, Kempinski and Zinc and many others.

“We are likewise getting ready to host the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) from October 5-6 2016”, Kariza said.

Rwanda’s tourism industry is a main foreign income earner for the nation

What do Gorillas Eat?

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Items eaten by Gorillas

Gorillas are herbivores – they do not eat meat though some people thing they can eat small animals but this is not true. Gorillas spend most of their day time feeding on vegetation – The type of foods that they will mainly consume really depends in the region in which the gorillas live.

Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National park Rwanda
Mountain Gorillas feeding – Volcanoes National park Rwanda

The following are some of the items on which Gorillas feed

In times of scarcity, gorillas can eat insects like white ants and termites – being intelligent; gorillas are capable of using tools like sticks to scoop termites from the ant hills or the ground.

Gorillas feed on fruits like passion fruits, jack fruits, mangoes, oranges among others. Such fruits contain vitamins which do well in the bodies of Gorillas.

They also feed on plant leaves – green leaves contain chlorophyll which promotes anti bodies hence fighting diseases. Green leaves contain food values that fight against diseases.

Gorillas feed on food stuffs like bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes among others. Such food stuffs are eaten raw – they are nutritious. The gorillas have sharp teeth that splits food into pieces – then swallowed after serious chewing.

Gorillas also feed on flowers – some flowers contain sugar content that attract gorillas chew them. Flowers contain nectar juice containing food values that attract Gorillas to spend time chewing them.

Gorillas also feed on Carrots and other sorted food like water melon, raw cassava among others. Sorted food is applied to Gorillas in the Zoo – in other words, Gorillas under control – not in natural environment.

Water helps them quench their thirsty – Gorillas drink water from lakes, rivers, water falls, pond among others – like human beings, Gorillas consume a lot of water in dry season than in wet season.

Gorillas eat stems of plants – the back skin from plants, feed by Gorillas.

The apes also feed on nuts – by the use of sticks to scoop them from the ground and they are more interested in Ground nuts and some other stems.

Gorillas also feed on twigs and shoots of plans – swigs are your tree branches and shoots are the young plant leaves which are have just come out.

A Beginner’s Guide: Traveling to Africa

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Dreaming of setting sail on your ultimate journey and escaping the rigors of urban life is something that only becomes reality if you’re able to make sacrifices in your day-to-day life. Having the ability to meticulously plan for such a trip can be the difference between actually living your dream or it merely being a pipe dream.

Whether you’re a single traveler or traveling with a multitude of people, the likelihood is, such a life-changing experience to witness the gorillas in the midst, going on safari or seeing the Golden Monkeys of Central Africa first hand, will cost a significant amount. And only through saving vast amounts of money will you be able to make a trip such as this reality.guide-to-africa

Luckily, with the vast amount of people now traveling to Africa to witness such amazing creatures as our beloved apes comes with useful blogs such as our own Lifted Gorilla that helps provide newbie travelers with a vast array of useful information to source when planning for a trip of a lifetime.

Here are some of our tips that you should consider when planning your trip to Africa.

Research what injections you’ll need

african-gorillas
Gentle Giants – Mountain Gorillas in Africa

The current health situation is Africa has been well documented by the world’s media, so you must ensure that you have had all the correct vaccinations before you leave your destination to travel to Africa. There is a plethora of resource available to find out which vaccinations you should be having but websites such as GoAfrica will provide you with the recommended injections you’ll need from your doctor before departure.

Pack a suitable camera

It might seem a little trivial but having your camera and sufficient battery replacements on your long treks will help you capture all the best moments on photo that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Don’t fall foul of failing to take a good camera with you on trips, and definitely don’t rely on devices with poor quality batteries such as the iPhone models.

Travel Insurance

Like many third-world continents, when traveling to Africa, it’s imperative that you have full travel insurance that will cover all of your belongings in case of theft. The likelihood is that you will be staying in very secure resorts but the dangers don’t just lie at the resorts. Misplaced baggage at airports is also still a probable possibility, so make sure to insure your belongings for the entire duration of your traveling.

Avoid budget airlines

Although budget travel is something that we all try to take advantage of, it’s not always all it’s made out to be. budget-airlines-africaParking4Less, a UK-based company, blogged in 2013 that a well-known budget airline decreased its baggage allowance by 37% without telling customers to try and increase profit margins. Budget airlines have been well documented for trying to increase their meager profit margins, so if you’re using internal airlines throughout your traveling of Africa, make sure to always check the small print.

It’s also worth taking notice of the baggage allowances of all the budget airlines if you do wish to use internal flights in Africa. Just like the aforementioned European-based budget airlines, African carriers may also have some obscure hidden travel charges.

Pack the bare necessities

Regardless of however long you are traveling, it’s best to travel as light as possible. You’re likely to be lugging your backpack around frequently so make sure you have a couple of changes of clothes, and due to the climate the majority should be lightweight.

Hopefully, some of these tips will come in handy when you venture out on your dream journey. Feel free to leave some of the tips you have learned below. And we hope you enjoy your trip to Africa.

Recommended Places to Visit in Africa

Africa is big and attracts many tourists from different parts of the world. However note that, some parts of Africa are not safe for travelling. You are advised to seek advise from your embassy or travel agent before visit some parts of Africa. Among the risky places to visit in Africa include Somalia, South Sudan, Libya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe among others. CNN points out 26 of the most stunning spots to visit in Africa.

Wildebeests Migration-Tanzania
Wildebeests Migration-Tanzania

And among these include the great wildebeest migration in East Africa taking place in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park, the table mountain in south Africa, Djmaa el Fna in Morocco, Sossusvlei Dunes in Namibia and endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda. Tracking the rare mountain gorillas is only done in Uganda and Rwanda, these are the only places in the world where you can see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and it attracts thousands of tourists into Eastern Africa. Great hikers prefer to trek the gorillas more than once in both destinations, for instance, the 18 day African gorilla safari in Rwanda and Uganda offers you a great opportunity to explore the hidden treasures of both destinations on a single tour package, including wild animals, birds, scenery, culture and others.

To those we limited time in Africa, and what to take part in gorilla tracking, there are shorter gorilla trekking packages such as the 3 days Bwindi gorilla tour where you can actively participate and add it to your African safari package. Whether you are visiting South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania or Namibia, you can easily connect to the Uganda or Rwanda for a short gorilla tracking package because, there are daily flights to these destinations. You can check on https://www.kenya-airways.com for details.

Aerial View - Victoria Falls, Zambia
Aerial View – Victoria Falls, Zambia

Other spots you must see in Africa include Victoria falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Namibian Spitzkoppe, Sahara Dunes in Morocco, Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Nyika Plateau National Park – the largest in Malawi, the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana, the Draa Valley in Morocco, Sphinx in Egypt, Mount Mulanje in Malawi, Rising safaris in Kenya (East Africa), Wonders of the Nile in Egypt, Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique, Nxia Pan National Park in Botswana, the Nyiragongo active Volcano in DR Congo and Mount Kilimanjaro among others.

3 Day Rwanda Safari Review – Gorilla Tracking

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With my husband, our dream was to take a Rwanda safari and see the mountain gorillas in the wild jungles of Africa in Volcanoes National Park! We had several trips into the dark continent in countries like South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Egypt and Kenya. This year, we had our summer holiday in Tanzania. While in Arusha, my wife brought the idea of visiting the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. Though we did had not booked gorilla permits in advance, we inquired different tour companies in Kigali including Rwanda development Board and we were so lucky that, Gorilla Expeditions ltd had gorilla permits on re-sell.

A Juvenile in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
A Juvenile in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

They had received cancellations and therefore, we had to buy those 2 permits. We therefore had a 3 day Rwanda safari to see gorillas and golden monkeys in Parc National Des Volcans. We booked a flight from Kilimanjaro to Kigali by Rwanda Air (www.rwandair.com). We arrived in Kigali by 17:00 hrs. The Staff of Gorilla expeditions was already waiting for us at the airport, we immediately transferred to Volcanoes national park and stayed at Muhabura hotel.

Rwanda Air - Kigali International Airport
Rwanda Air – Kigali International Airport

The next day we got up early, had heavy breakfast at Hotel Muhabura in Ruhengeri, then we drove for about 20 minutes to the park headquarters at Kinigi. Here we found very many tourists from different countries, we interacted with them with free tea and coffee served at the headquarters. We were divided into groups of 8 persons maximum and allocated to different gorilla groups.

For us we were allocated to Hirwa gorilla group, we were briefed about this gorilla group and the trek in general. Later on we boarded our safari vehicle to the trekking start point. We are accompanied by park guides and rangers with guns just in case of any animals that may want to attack us such as forest elephants.Gorilla-filming

It took us about 3 hours to meet Hirwa gorilla group, we were given one hour to stay with gorillas, we took photos and videos. This was highlight of our safari in East Africa. We wanted to do another gorilla trek the next day but there were not gorilla permits available. We decided to return next year and this time we shall combine Uganda and Rwanda. In the evening, we took a community walk through Musanze town and we found out that the Rwanda people are so friendly, lovely and hospitable. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Muhabura.

On day 3, our departure flight was scheduled at 18:05hrs, we had ample time to go for golden monkey tracking, we came back early by mid day, we had lunch in Ruhengeri and later drove fro 90 minutes to Kigali, we visit Gisozi genocide memorial museum, later we transferred to Kigali International airport for our scheduled departure flight. This marks the end of our Gorilla safari in Rwanda.

Gentle Giants in their Natural Habitat
Gentle Giants in their Natural Habitat

Some advise to everyone visiting East Africa for wildlife and beach holidays, never miss gorilla tracking activity in either Uganda or Rwanda. It’s such amazing experience to interact with the mountain gorillas in the wild. The experience is totally different from that of Zoo. Just an hour with the gorillas offers lifetime memories. However, you are advised to book your gorilla permits in advance because their demand is very high in both countries. Visit rwandasafarigorilla.com for details and more safari packages.